Democratic Senate “Don’t Knows” Support Health Care Monopolies and Duopolies.

Howard Dean’s Healthcare website is tracking support for public health care within the Senate and the Congress. This link goes to the screening page. The lists produced show that 1 Democratic Senator is a confessed opponent of public health care, (Landrieu from Louisiana) and that 27 members of the body are “don’t knows”.

Among the “don’t knows” are those who oppose public health insurance as anti-competitive. The chart included below groups Dean’s “Don’t Know Democrats” by the states they represent with the market concentration ratio of health insurance companies in their states.

The Justice Department has customarily considered that 40% concentration in a market is the cut off between a healthy and an unhealthy competitive situation. Unfortunately, the source for these numbers didn’t provide North Dakota or West Virginia. None of the states for which data were available have a health insurance concentration below 45%. Alaska has the most concentrated market. There the local Blue Cross has 95% of the business. Montana, the state where Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus is from has a concentration of 85%, and comes in second.  Arkansas at 81% is the third most concentrated market nationwide. The chart shows that those arguing that they want to preserve competition are really defending local monopolies and duopolies led by the different  incarnations of Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

The market concentration data are from a report entitle “Pennsylvania Health Premiums Soar As Insurers Face Less Competition” by HealthCare for America Now. This report also provides data on how many premium dollars received the publically owned health insurers are converting into stock buy backs and executive pay

I got to the report through one of Paul Krugman’s posts yesterday “Competition, Redefined” which can be reached here

I didn’t have time to check out the donor data to see how much money the “don’t knows” are receiving from their health insurance constituents.

 

Senator

State

Largest Health

Insurance

Company Statewide

Market

Share

Second Largest

Health Insurance

Company Statewide

Market

Share

Top 2 Companies

Combined

Share

 

Baucus

Mt

Blue Cross Mt

75%

New West

10%

85%

Bayh

IN

Well Point

60%

M Plan

15%

75%

Begich

AK

Premium Blue Cross

60%

Aetna

35%

95%

Bennet

Co

Well Point

29%

United

24%

53%

Byrd

Wv

 

 

 

 

 

Cantwell

Wa

Premira Blue Cross

30%

Regence Blue Shield

23%

53%

Carper

De

Carefirst Blue Cross

42%

Country Health

23%

65%

Conrad

ND

 

 

 

 

 

Dorgan

ND

 

 

 

 

 

Feinstein

Ca

Kaiser

24%

Well Point

44%

68%

Hagan

NC

Blue Cross Blue Shield

53%

United

20%

73%

Lincoln

Ar

Blue Cross

75%

United

6%

81%

Nelson

Fl

Blue Cross

30%

Aetna

15%

45%

Nelson

Ne

Blue Cross

44%

United Health

25%

69%

Pryor

Ar

Blue Cross

75%

United

6%

81%

Reid

Nv

Sierra

29%

WellPoint

28%

57%

Spector

Pa

High Mark

 

Independence Blue Cross

 

72%

Tester

Mt

Blue Cross Mt

75%

New West

10%

85%

Udall

Co

Well Point

29%

United

24%

53%

Warner

Va

Well Point

50%

Aetna

11%

61%

Wyden

Or

Providence

25%

Regence Blue Cross

23%

48%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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